Sir Lenny Henry Centre for Media Diversity

Established in 2020, The Sir Lenny Henry Centre for Media Diversity research centre brings together the expertise of established media professionals and academics. 

A year on, what has the Centre been doing?

The Centre consists of Sir Lenny Henry, senior lecturer Marverine Duffy, visiting Professor Marcus Ryder and Professor Diane Kemp as Director, with some stellar support in the advisory board. Read more about the members here

Through our networks and experience, the Centre acts as an impartial voice addressing inequality in the industry and does this in the following ways: conducting qualitative and quantitative research (so we have the evidence to make a case), working with industry and launching a new journal. Since our launch we’ve been in discussion with a large number of media organisations wanting to work with us for change, as well as individuals sharing their brilliant projects, research and experience. The upshot of part of that has been the launch of our small practice related research grants (PIMID), to enable media industry professionals to conduct research with our support. It was piloted in September 2020 by Emma Butt’s research into diversity within TV sound roles.

In February 2021 we were awarded four grants which will result in similarly useful research highlighting different parts of the media industry. Other research we’ve commissioned or conducted is also aimed at helping to shed light on the industry and enable it to make positive change. 

A new journal, ‘Representology’, was launched in December 2020 as a collaboration with colleagues at Cardiff University and in its style and content it offers free research and discussion for a broad media-related audience. It’s been an extraordinary first year and we will continue to grow and take on more work as the Centre develops into its second year.

Research has been conducted by the Centre for public use, as well as for media organisations in consultancies. We’ve also run closed webinars sharing useful information to help organisations push their boundaries on diversity. We’ve employed academics, students and PhDs in a variety of work which has given them experience and access which will help their careers.

The fact that senior media industry professionals have sought us out demonstrates some of the impact we are having. Upon publication of the new journal, several more contacts from industry came forward, demonstrating that our concept for it was effective: to be written for media professionals and academics alike.

Sir Lenny Henry Centre for Media Diversity